Alec Baldwin shuts down claims that he's not complying with ongoing "Rust" shooting investigation

The actor emphasized the importance of the investigation and cited distance as a reason for delays

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published January 10, 2022 6:44PM (EST)

Alec Baldwin (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)
Alec Baldwin (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

Alec Baldwin took to Instagram on Saturday to shut down claims that he's not complying with the ongoing "Rust" shooting investigation. Back in December of 2021, investigators obtained a search warrant for the actor's smartphone to search for messages, calls and other exchanges regarding the film's production. According to the New York Times, Baldwin still hasn't turned over his phone.

"Any suggestion that I am not complying with requests or orders or demands or search warrants about my phone, that's bulls**t," the "30 Rock" star said in his video post. "That's a lie." He further emphasized that he is "one thousand percent going to comply" with the investigation.

In October of last year, Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza with a prop gun while filming on the set of the suspended Western film "Rust." The shooting, which took place at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe County, is currently being investigated by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office and the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney.

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"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," Baldwin said in a Twitter statement released the morning after the incident. "I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

In a sit-down interview with George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin claimed that he was unaware that the gun had been loaded.

"Everyone was shocked. . . . The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun. She goes down, I thought to myself, did she faint?" he explained. "The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me until 45 minutes or an hour later." After speaking with officials from the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, Baldwin found out that the gun was loaded with a live round.  

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In his recent Instagram post, Baldwin added that handling the warrant "takes time," especially when it's being dealt between authorities of two different states — New Mexico and New York, where Baldwin lives.

"This is a process where one state makes the request of another state," he said. "Someone from another state can't come to you and say, 'Give me your phone.' Give me this give me that.' They can't do that. They're going to go through the state you live in."

Before concluding his message, Baldwin expressed his desire to continue with the investigation and ultimately, unearth the truth.

"The best way, the only way, we can honor the death of Halyna Hutchins is to find out the truth. I have no worries about that. That's all going to work itself out, regardless of what they say in these right-wing rag sheets."

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By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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